The BE101 High School Internship Program is established in close collaboration with the schools' STEM education program, and includes hiring students each academic year. Working in collaboration with Bright Energy 101 engineers, the internship program includes the following elements:
Student interns are trained in facility auditing and energy modeling at the outset of their internship. We train in using the tools developed by UC Davis’ Energy & Environment Institute in collaboration with the California Conservation Corps. Through funding provided by the CEC, these auditing and modeling tools have been successfully used at over 1,300 California K-12 public schools.
Under the supervision of a professional engineer, students participate in the performance of ASHRAE compliant whole building energy audit for each site at your district. This survey provides on-site collection of data for building envelope, lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plug loads and energy management systems.
Energy Modeling & Gap Analysis
Using the data collected in facility audits, students develop an energy model for each school using DOE2 and eQuest. This provides an hourly profile of the electrical and natural gas usage for each school.
Once the ‘‘model’’ energy consumption for the school is completed, that data is then compared to the "actual" energy consumption as provided by the BE101 Software. The gap between model and actual is then analyzed, and the model is tuned to match actual. Typically, the initial model predicts lower consumption than the actual, as energy consuming equipment is often operating out of specification or out of schedule. The gap analysis and model tuning provides critical information in developing the Conservation Plan and EE measures.
Establishing and Implementing Energy Conservation Plan
Once the audit, model and gap analysis are complete, the student team develops an energy conservation plan for your district. Conservation is defined in the Program as an operational or behavioral change achieved at no cost to the school, beyond minimal staff time. Once the energy conservation measures are identified and an implementation plan agreed upon with the school facility staff, the student team oversees its implementation.
The development and implementation of the conservation plan provide the students opportunities to develop their non-technical skills, as success requires effectively marketing, communicating and ‘‘selling’’ their plan to key stakeholders at the schools and the district. Sustained energy conservation programs in K-12 schools save, on average, between 5 and 15% of energy consumption. The Alliance to Save Energy’s PowerSave Schools program has had extensive experience working with students on conservation plans, providing a good reference for the savings potential, and other benefits for schools.
Recommending EE, RE, Electrification Measures
Once the energy conservation plan is in place, in close collaboration with BE101 engineers, the student team develops a list of potential energy efficiency, renewable energy and electrification measures. These are implemented in the next phase, and third element of the BE101 program.